31 May 2009

Sea life (1)

We rowed quickly, to pull her out and save her: her body had remained magnetized, and we had to work hard to scrape off all the things encrusted on her. Tender corals were wound about her head, and every time we ran a comb through her hair there was a shower of crayfish and sardines; her eyes were sealed shut by limpets clinging to the lids with their suckers: squid's tentacles were coiled around her arms and her neck; and her little dress now seemed woven only of weeds and sponges. We got the worst of it off her, but for weeks afterwards she went on pulling out fins and shells, and her skin, dotted with little diatoms [1], remained affected for ever, looking -- to someone who didn't observe her carefully - as if it were faintly dusted with freckles.
-- from The Distance of the Moon by Italo Calvino.

...And rock the cradle of the deep.
Seaweed and barnacles are me clothes,
The hair on me head is hemp,
Every bone in me body's a spar...

[1] See The Pediculous Berry-nymph and the Shortfooted Foamflower.

[2] Anon, quoted by Planktos.

Image: The equivalence of self and universe, from Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati, 1824

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